Do chia seeds expire? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Do chia seeds expire?” methods to store chia seeds and detect spoilage in chia seeds.

Do chia seeds expire?

No, chia seeds cannot expire. It can though undergo rancidity if it is not stored properly as generally, chia seeds have a longer shelf-life. Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which indicate that it can undergo rancidity if it is not stored properly.

Rancidity is not an indicator of spoilage but it can decrease the flavor and smell of chia seeds. It can also lose its nutritional value once it undergoes rancidification.

Chia seeds have an indefinite shelf-life but over the years, they can lose their smell, taste, or texture.

What is the shelf-life of chia seeds?

Chia seeds have a longer shelf-life compared to other seeds. The antioxidants present in chia seeds help in prolonging the shelf-life of the seeds. Even after the best-before date is over, chia seeds can remain in the pantry for at least 2-3 years.

Chia seeds can remain in the refrigerator in the best quality for at least 3 years but if the chia seeds are incorporated into a food product like pudding it would have a shorter shelf-life of 4-5 days.

Store pudding or gels made from chia seeds only in the refrigerator as they can get spoilt if it is stored in the pantry.

Chia seedsApproximate shelf-life in PantryApproximate shelf-life in the fridge
Fresh chia seeds1 year2-3 years
Soaked chia seedsDoes not stay for long in the pantry4-5 days
Chia flour5-6 monthsDoes not stay for long in the fridge
Chia puddingDoes not stay for long in the pantry5-7 days

How to store chia seeds?

  • Once chia seeds are bought, immediately transfer them from their original package into an airtight glass container. Glass container would provide a proper environment for chia seeds and prevent them from getting spoilt quickly.

You can also spot signs of deterioration more quickly in glass containers as glass is transparent compared to cardboard or plastic packs.

  • Avoid putting your hands into the container or using spoons to take chia seeds out of the container. Using spoons or hands to pick the seeds can contaminate the seeds. Instead, put the seeds directly from the container into a bowl to use.
  • It is essential to tightly seal the container after using the chia seeds. Keeping the lid open or not sealing it properly can increase the exposure of chia seeds to moisture in the air that can speed up the deterioration of the seeds.

Keeping the lid of the container open can also expose the chia seeds to insects or other pests that can further spoil the seeds.

  • If you want to store the seeds in the freezer you can transfer the seeds into a ziplock bag or resealable bag.
  • Check the flavor and smell of the seeds occasionally even if the seeds are stored properly and sealed well. You can check the quality of the seeds by crushing them in a pestle and tasting them. If the seeds taste rancid, freeze them.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover the container containing the seeds if you do not have a proper lid. This will minimize the exposure of the seeds to moisture.

How to detect spoilt chia seeds?

Chia seeds generally do not get spoilt, though there could be certain conditions under which they can get spoilt. The signs to detect spoilage are given below.

  • Chia seeds can undergo a rancidification process after a few years of storage. The best way to detect rancidity would be to taste or smell the seeds. Although rancidity does not make it unsafe to consume, it can alter the flavor and nutritional value.
  • Spoilt chia seeds can become lumpy or even develop mold. If you suspect your chia seeds being sticky or lumpy, shake your container. If the seeds stick to each other or the container, it is likely to be spoilt.
  • Chia seeds do not stick to hands. If you find them being slimy or sticky, it is better to throw them away.
  • Chia seeds can get infested by bugs. Though bugs do not make the seeds unsafe to eat, it is better to be on the safer side and clean the seeds. Store the seeds in the freezer and clean them while thawing.
  • If chia seeds taste bitter, it is likely to have undergone rancidification or has got contaminated. It is better to throw them away.
  • If you observe a whitish film on the seeds, it is likely to be mold. Discard the seeds in such cases.

Other FAQs about Chia seeds that you may be interested in.

Can you boil chia seeds with oatmeal

Is it safe to eat chia seeds every day?

Can you eat chia seeds when pregnant?


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Do chia seeds expire?” methods to store chia seeds and detect spoilage in chia seeds.